Ace the Job Interview

Ace the Job Interview

Most people get nervous prior to an interview. It’s practically human nature to feel at least a little anxious – unless you’re incredibly confident and sure of yourself (and yes, those individuals do exist). However, most of us fall in to the first category. Thankfully there are, however, ways to lessen our stress. Some of it is to do with preparing beforehand, others to calm ourselves prior to and during the interview. We’ve categorized and made a list of them right here. See what you think…

Days Before The Interview

Try and anticipate the kind of questions you’ll be asked and jot down answers for them. Common questions centre on why you want the job and why you think you’ll be good at it. There’ll also be questions based on your CV ie why did you move from one particular job to another etc. A lot of our anxieties stem from fear of the unknown or from not being in control of a situation – so role playing and anticipating interview questions will go a long way towards reducing your job interview anxiety.

Other tips include:

  • Make sure your referees are aware you’ve applied for a post and listed them as a referee. Give them a call and let them know about the job – send them the job listing and if you can, discuss key achievements or experiences you want them to mention.
  • Come up with at least two questions you can ask the interviewer (one about the specific job, another the company).
  • Read through the company website (especially the news and press release section) and focus on the department you’ve applied for (if it’s a large organization). Mentioning company specifics will show the interviewer you’re interested in the job and have done your homework ! eg. “I saw on your website that you’re about to open a new store in the CBD. Will this role be involved with the setup of that store ?”
  • If you’ve been offered an interview and need any special help when you get there, ring the HR department or the individual who sent the letter and let them know ahead of time.
  • or Google Maps on your phone or computer are good places to start to confirm the interview location and how to get there. For public transport advice call 131500 or visit
  • If you need help with interview clothing make sure you mention this to your Employment Service Provider and ask them if they can help you with the costs of these items. They can also refer you to organisations that provide free stylish and new clothing for jobseekers looking for work.
  • Eg. see Dress For Success: (Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide, & Perth),

On The Day Of The Interview

Have your interview clothes ready to just slip into on the morning of your interview (in other words, prepare them the night before), eat a good hearty breakfast and aim to arrive at your interview 10 minutes early to avoid a mad, sweaty panic at the last minute. You’re much better off arriving an hour early and relaxing in a café next door for 50 minutes than worrying about the time and arriving 1 minute late !

What To Take With You

  • Definitely a map if the area is unfamiliar to you (although hopefully you’ll have been given the opportunity of a ‘dry run’ earlier in the week).
  • The name of the person to ask for at reception (amazing how many people forget this!).
  • A bottle of water to sip during the interview.
  • Any exam certificates and ID (identification) you were asked to bring.
  • Your resume (and several copies if it’s a panel interview).

How To Control Your Nerves Just Before & During The Interview

  • Try and do some form of exercise prior to the interview if you have time, as this will release endorphins, making you feel more relaxed.
  • Pause before answering a question, rather than jumping right in, as this will give you time to structure your answer.
  • Go to the toilet beforehand.
  • It’s ok to take notes with you to remind yourself of certain examples.
  • Visualise being in complete control of the interview.
  • Remind yourself it is only an interview

How To Impress

  • Try to keep answers short rather than ramble on.
  • Be enthusiastic and ask questions about the role.
  • Maintain eye contact and ‘open’ body language (i.e. don’t sit with your arms folded across your chest).
  • Relax but don’t slouch.
  • Let your interviewers know you’re available for follow-up questions.

It’s always a good idea, if you get the chance, to practice a mock interview with a friend a few days before your actual interview. And if possible, video yourself and see if there’s anything you need to work on after viewing the playback.

If you don’t get the job, don’t dwell on it. Instead, follow up on any offers for feedback as this will make you even more prepared for your next job interview – and which, we’re pretty sure, will be just around the next corner.

Find more interview techniques at our website right here

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